SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton volleyball team (1-0) rolled to a 3-1 win over the Nazareth Golden Flyers (0-1) to open the 2022 campaign on Friday night at the John Long Center as part of the annual Scranton Invitational.
The two teams traded points during the early stages of the first set and the Royals led 8-6 before a pair of attack errors from Nazareth opened up a 7-0 run for the hosts. Junior Stephanie Margolies (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) slammed home a pair of kills during the run, which led to a 15-6 lead. The Golden Flyers were unable to get any closer than seven the rest of the set and a kill from senior Abby Rzucidlo (Garnet Valley, Pa./Ursuline Academy) sealed the 25-13 victory in set one.
Scranton opened up a 12-5 lead in the second set, but this time around Nazareth rallied and eventually cut the lead to 19-18 on a Zoe Tylipakis service ace. From there, three straight kills from senior Carah Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) opened up a 24-20 lead for the Royals before a second Nazareth rally led to a 27-25 win for the visitors in the second set.
In the third set, a Golden Flyers service error made it a 9-4 in favor of the Royals and ignited a nine point run as Rzucidlo and sophomore Erin Keaveney (Collegeville, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) registered three kills apiece to open up a 17-4 advantage for the time being. Margolies added three straight service aces to later seal the 25-9 win and give the Royals the lead in the match. The fourth set featured more of the same as after Scranton held a 6-4 lead before a Margolies kill kicked off a 7-0 run, which included three service aces from freshman Maddie Forry (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) to make it 13-4 at the time. The Golden Flyers recorded seven of the next eight points to cut the lead to 14-11, but Scranton responded with five straight and closed out the season opening victory with a 25-20 win.
Vitkus led the way offensively with 17 kills, while Margolies added 13 and Keaveney tallied 11. Senior Caileigh Cox (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) set up the attack for Scranton all night long with 48 assists to go along with three service aces and eight digs.
In her collegiate debut, Forry tallied a match-high 24 digs and added four service aces of her own. Margolies also recorded six service aces and 11 digs.
The Royals return to action tomorrow as they host Muhlenberg at 1 p.m. and Lebanon Valley at 5 p.m.